It’s true, I’m a huge dork. Huge. I love movies like ‘The Fifth Element’ and ‘The Mummy,’ not to mention all the fantasy/sci-fi stuff I grew up with. ‘The Neverending Story,’ The Last Unicorn,’ ‘Labyrinth,’ I can go on forever. It is hardly surprising, given how much I loved the fantasy genre growing up, that I turned to fantasy in my books as well.
We’re readers in my family and when I was young we didn’t have the plethora of young adult books available to us that younguns have now. By the time I was in seventh grade I was reading ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Coma.’ I think I read every Michael Crichton book by the end of seventh grade, eighth for sure, and Robin Cook followed close behind. There were just so few options for me to read and so I graduated from my ‘Nancy Drew Files’ and went straight into the hard stuff.
I can’t remember what my first fantasy novel was, but I do know that seventh grade I read a book called ‘The White Mountains’ by John Christopher. It was amazing. A sci-fi book that was more fantasy and less sci-fi about a world aliens had conquered and humanity’s escape from enslavement. I loved it. I tried to find other books in the book store and library in the junior sections to no avail, so went to the fantasy section. There I found all the stuff tweens read then: League of Legends and Dragon Age. These are books that pulled from D&D and laid the basis for much of fantasy. But I didn’t really become a convert until I started reading David Eddings. His series was amazing and I loved each book. That lead to Robert Jordan and it all kind of snowballed from there.
I read it because it provides an escape. Those of you who have seen Game of Thrones on HBO know that it’s full of blood, death, sex, and loss, so it’s not that fantasy provides a safe reading environment. George R.R. Martin wrote the first book I threw across the room when something bad happened to a character I liked. I don’t read fantasy to avoid conflict and emotional pain, I read it because that pain PAYS OFF. In fantasy, good wins, the bad guy is vanquished, there is a resolution. Fiction that takes place in our reality is too real, these things happen, it’s IN OUR NEWS. No thank you. I watch superhero movies and I read fantasy because it’s an escape. It’s FUN.
So it shouldn’t surprise people that I write fantasy as well. I love magic and elves and talking animals. I love being able to just make up things out whole cloth and put them on paper and make them real. It’s just as fun as reading it. I hope you’re ready to enter the craziness that is my imagination.